Fender Noiseless Pickup Comparison: Vintage vs Gen 4 vs Hot


Noiseless electric guitar pickups do not suffer from the “hum” that traditional single coil pickups are known for. They consist of a row of six stacked-coil pole pieces to cancel out this humming to produce a clearer tone with less feedback.

Fender make a range of noiseless pickups which are used on some stock Telecasters, Jazzmasters and Stratocasters, or can be purchased aftermarket.

In this article, I’ll be comparing the three types of Fender noiseless pickup: Vintage, Gen 4 and Hot, so you can decide which is the best option for your electric guitar.

Vintage vs Gen 4 vs Hot Noiseless Pickups

Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups use Alnico II magnets whereas Gen 4 and Hot Noiseless pickups use Alnico V magnets. Vintage Noiseless pickups sound warmer and have more mid-range compared to Gen 4 and Hot Noiseless pickups which sound brighter. Hot Noiseless pickups have the highest output, followed by Gen 4 and then Vintage.

Noiseless Stratocaster Pickups

There are 6 types of noiseless Stratocaster pickups available at the time of writing which are either on some models as stock, or can be purchased aftermarket.

The Player Plus Noiseless Strat pickups cannot be purchased aftermarket and can only be found on the Player Plus models. The rest of the pickups on the list can be purchased separately.

The Player Plus Noiseless Strat pickups cannot be purchased aftermarket and can only be found on the Player Plus models. The rest of the pickups on the list can be purchased separately.

Noiseless Strat PickupMagnetOutput (/5)Recommended Music Styles
VintageAlnico II3Blues and Country
Ultra VintageAlnico V3Blues and Country
Gen 4Alnico V4Rock and Blues
Ultra HotAlnico V5Rock and Blues
HotCeramic5Rock and Blues

The Fender Vintage Noiseless Strat pickups sound the warmest and fullest with more mid-range compared to the other noiseless pickups.

The Hot Noiseless and Gen 4 Noiseless Strat pickups have more of the classic Strat “quack” as they have a brighter tone. The main difference between the two is that the Hot Noiseless pickups have a higher output so distort more easily whereas the Gen 4 Noiseless pickups retain more clarity.

Noiseless Telecaster Pickups

There are 4 types of noiseless Telecaster pickups available at the time of writing which are either on some models as stock, or can be purchased aftermarket.

The Player Plus Noiseless Tele pickups cannot be purchased aftermarket and can only be found on the Player Plus models. The rest of the pickups on the list can be purchased separately.

The Vintage Noiseless Tele pickups sound the warmest and have the fullest mid-range and lowest output. The Ultra Vintage Noiseless and Gen 4 Noiseless both use Alnico V magnets so sound brighter by comparison. The main difference between the two is that the Gen 4 Noiseless Tele pickups have a higher output so distort more easily.

Noiseless Strat PickupMagnetOutput (/5)Recommended Music Styles
Vintage NoiselessAlnico II3Blues and Country
Ultra Vintage NoiselessAlnico V3Blues and Country
Gen 4 NoiselessAlnico V4Rock and Blues

Comparing Pickup Prices

Ultra Noiseless Vintage and Ultra Noiseless Hot pickups are more expensive than the standard Hot, Gen 4 and Vintage noiseless pickups which are all similarly priced. Check out the table below to see the average prices of each pickup at the time of writing.

Set of PickupsAverage Price USAAverage Price UK
Gen 4 Noiseless Tele$180£135
Vintage Noiseless Tele$180£135
Ultra Noiseless Vintage Tele$200£180
Vintage Noiseless Strat$210£170
Hot Noiseless Strat$210£170
Gen 4 Noiseless Strat$210£200
Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat$250£200
Ultra Noiseless Hot Strat$250£210

Which Fender Guitars Have Noiseless Pickups?

Here is a list of Fender electric guitars which have noiseless pickups as standard at the time of writing.

Fender Stratocaster GuitarPickups
Player Plus StratocasterPlayer Plus Noiseless Strat
Ultra StratocasterUltra Noiseless Vintage Strat
Ultra Luxe StratocasterUltra Noiseless Vintage Strat
H.E.R. StratocasterVintage Noiseless Strat
Tom Morello StratocasterVintage Noiseless Strat
Jeff Beck StratocasterHot Noiseless Strat
Player Plus TelecasterPlayer Plus Noiseless Tele
Ultra TelecasterUltra Noiseless Vintage Tele
Ultra Luxe TelecasterUltra Noiseless Vintage Tele
American Ultra JazzmasterUltra Noiseless Vintage Jazzmaster

Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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